the louderARTS Project

Samantha Raheem

A Native of Trinidad & Tobago, Samantha has been writing poetry on an astute level since she was a child. It was no wonder that when she matriculated into Florida State University in Tallahassee that Samantha chose the Creative Writing major as her path. During her tenure at FSU, Samantha won The Cody Harris Writing Award and the Mart P. Hill Honors Thesis Award. She also became a member of Back Talk Poetry Troupe, a grassroots collective of poets who host Black on Black Rhyme, the most prominent poetry franchise in the South East with chapters in Tallahassee, Tampa, and Miami.

After releasing her first CD project and a self-published chapbook, Samantha has toured and continues to tour the United States sharing her work with a variety of audiences from Duke University students to poetry lovers at the House of Blues in New Orleans. With a B.A in Creative Writing under her belt, Samantha, a former Henry Hoyns fellow, is currently finishing her MFA in Poetry at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Samantha is the coach of the Hampton Roads Virginia slam team as well as a Cave Canem fellow. She is a recent recipient of Marilyn Nelson’s Soul Mountain Writing Fellowship.

You can learn more about Samantha via her website www.samanthaspeaks.com.

me at samanthaspeaks dot com




Signs

Always stuck with me, the scene from that alien film: disturbing like finding
              a shoe in the woods—
when the preacher gets the phone call about his wife. He drives out there
              to see her, the area where
she jogs after work on evenings, the indecisive road cutting through trees.
              When he finally arrives,
the night is a conundrum of police officers, some young, some old with
              cheeks dripping off the
sides of their faces & as the preacher’s car door coughs shut, one of the
              rookies is already walking
 towards him holding a fistful of bad news & after informing the preacher
               that she won’t be alive
much longer, the cop exhales an I’m sorry, cheap information to the grieving.
              So the preacher follows
the cop to his wife who’s pinned between a truck and a tree. She’s still
              sweaty from her jog
& smiles as he approaches & they talk the way lovers forget how to, like
              they’re the only two
people alive in this whirlwind of lights. The skin of his forehead folds up
              like linen. He asks
her if she feels any pain & she says no, her elbows kissing the edge of the
              truck’s hood like bad
table manners. She must know she is going to die soon, because she then
              brings up the children,
starting from youngest to oldest; a mother, she must close the door on her
              family rest-assured that her
girl drinks her milk, that the boy knows his math. The preacher asks anyone,
               asks God, if theres any-
thing they can do, knowing that the instant they move that truck her body
              will fall to pieces & so will his
faith. The alien that shows up later in the movie is irrelevant because now
              everywhere I go I see the people
I love in the faces of strangers, clinging to this story of this preacher & his
              wife the way her body clung to
that truck, because during those moments she understood the paradox of the
              human struggle, that sometimes
the same thing that slowly kills us is exactly the same thing keeping us alive.



© Samantha Raheem



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